“Dossier” Exposes Brooksville Mayor’s Past Check Fraud Arrests – UPDATE
UPDATE: 2/14/2018, 6:48 P.M. – Due to several requests to provide documentation into the Mayor’s prior arrests. I have attached images of the 2007 arrest where Mayor Erhard is charged with 54-counts of check fraud.
BROOKSVILLE – We’re still several months away from the 2018 mid-term elections, but the political divides are already well-defined, and the mud buckets are filled to the rim.
From the party flip-flopping school board candidate to the 3:2 unambiguous disunion of the County Commission, there will be no shortage of fireworks in the months to come.
Brooksville City Council has been at the forefront of controversy in recent months, due to talks of a possibly dissolving the City’s Police Department. But it’s the unexpected release of Brooksville Mayor Betty Erhard’s prior arrests that is taking center stage.
Yesterday, RNRF received a list of “dirty laundry” from an anonymous source, outlining several shocking issues from Erhard’s past. Apart from her prior arrest reports, the “dossier” reads more like a disgruntled ex-husband venting over a contentious divorce.
Earlier today, I posted this question to RNRF viewers on our Community Facebook Page: “If you discovered that an elected official you voted for was arrested several times for felony fraud and did not disclose it prior to being elected, what do you think should happen to that elected official? Would you ask that they resign?” That’s exactly what Erhard is accused of, on more than one occasion, and it was not publically disclosed until today.
According to a Pasco County Court document, Erhard was arrested in 1991 for issuing worthless checks. She later accepted an offer of Pre-Trial Intervention to prevent having a felony conviction.
In 2007, Erhard was arrested in Hernando County after she allegedly forged at least 27 checks. The outcome of that case is unknown at this time, and Erhard did not provide an explanation in her email reply to our inquiry. Erhard says, “This is same character assassination I endured during the divorce.”
We asked Erhard if she would be willing to step down if her constituents or fellow Council members were to make that request. Erhard replied, “Why would I step down for allegations by an ex-husband? I will not step down based on accusations by an ex-husband.”
City Councilman Joe Bernardini defended Erhard, stating “This has all the markings of a smear campaign. I wonder who’s behind it?” But Councilwoman Natalie Kahler was shocked at the news, and when asked if Erhard should be removed for not being forthcoming during her campaign, she said, “It would be up to the people if that is an issue they are concerned with.”
We tried to reach Erhard’s ex-husband, John Erhard for comment but he has yet to respond.
Despite the fact that Erhard’s arrests date back over a decade, most people surveyed still questioned whether she can be trusted to manage the City’s Budget. However, several commenters defended Erhard because she was not “Convicted” of a felony.
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